MAASTRICHT. Prof. Ron Heeren has been elected as member of the KNAW (Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences). The Maastricht University Professor of Molecular Imaging and Scientific Director of MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute will be installed on Monday 13 September - together with 22 other scientists from the Netherlands and abroad.
Heeren is a pioneer in mass spectrometry, a technique for identifying isotopes and molecules. “Thanks to the techniques he has developed, it is possible to analyze and locate a wide variety of samples quickly and precisely down to the molecular level,” writes the KNAW on its website. “For example, a single hair can be used to determine which chemicals someone has been exposed to in a day, to view a single cancer cell, or to analyze pigment from an old painting.
“Heeren's work is of great importance for innovative, personalized patient care and molecular pathology. It is therefore not surprising that he has nine patents to his name, several of which have already been used in commercial products.”
Members are elected by peers, from within and outside the Academy, and are appointed for life. The KNAW currently has about 550 KNAW members, amongst them twenty from UM. Membership is primarily a matter of honor: the KNAW is regarded as a 'society of leading scientists'.